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Project Title:Faculty Development for Student SuccessInstitution Name:California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Innovation Category:Student Success Project Director:Terre H. Allen, Director, Faculty Center for Professional DevelopmentContact Information:(562) 985-5260, tallen@csulb.eduWebsite:
Project Description:CSULB’s program provides faculty development for instructors teaching traditionally difficult academic courses – or those that have 30 percent or higher non-completion rates. The program engages faculty in learning and applying best practices for successful teaching with supplemental instruction. Supplemental instruction (SI) is a student academic assistance program designed to increase academic performance and retention through its use of extended instructional time and collaborative learning strategies. Participating faculty engage in a part-online, part face-to-face course on SI best practices with two specific expected deliverables: course redesign for integration of supplemental instruction and redesigned assessment of student learning outcomes. 
  • Engage faculty who teach historically low-completion rate courses in systematic reflection and learning about teaching under-prepared students
  • Engage faculty who teach historically low-completion rate courses in learning about best practices in utilizing supplemental instruction for student success
  • Require faculty to redesign their course to integrate a required one-hour-per-week, student facilitated, supplemental instruction session into their course
  • Require faculty to redesign their course assessment to include pre/post-testing to determine areas to be supported by supplemental instruction and provide guidance for SI facilitators 

We have measured:

  • Increased pass rates in courses participating in the intensive intervention
  • A campus-wide decrease in the number of sections classified as “low completion”
  • A campus-wide decrease in the number of students failing courses

Eventually we hope to measure:

  • Increased graduation rates of students. 
Challenges/Problems Encountered:Overcoming discipline-based pedagogical attitudes such as “sink or swim” or this is “spoon-feeding” is more challenging than getting faculty to make changes to their course material. Changes in course design and assessment must be accompanied by attitudinal changes about student success. As such, the faculty development course is a semester-long one that includes modules on under-preparedness, student engagement, and student success. The course/program is flexible in addressing faculty concerns and works toward attitudinal and behavioral changes in teaching, learning, and student engagement.  
Evaluation Approach:Our program has multiple levels of evaluation. The program objectives are assessed by reviewing the deliverables (faculty development director), tracking faculty changes in instruction over time (faculty development director), continued use of supplemental instruction, and faculty self-reports of satisfaction and success. The quantifiable outcomes are tracked by the Vice-Provost’s office as part of our university efforts to improve student retention and graduation. 
Potential for Replication:The potential for replication requires two campus-based resources: (1) faculty development resources to build and deliver a semester-long, blended course facilitated by a seasoned professional who can guide faculty through a process of adopting new/different teaching practices; (2) resources to support supplemental instruction. Importantly, the supplemental instruction MUST be integrated into teaching practices, and this task may involve bringing together campus units that have not been connected previously (e.g., faculty and student services).  
Additional Resources:
CEO-to-CEO Contact:F. King Alexander , Presidentfkalexander@csulb.edu
(562) 985-4121
Date Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011